Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Mucha Man » 31 May 2012, 10:19

Pingdong wrote:I do feel your pain. I personally despise the idea of charging residents of an area anything to go outside and enjoy it.

But are foreigners getting charged or visitors? i though ti read earlier that residents get the local price, no?

Even when locals can afford something, sometimes the thought of paying for it turns people off. Nature is one thing that people should really be turned onto, and i see thats your goal. BUt i still see it as a good thing making local residents get discoutns or free, adn I do see this as being a price raise for a selected group (visitors).

They'd make more money putting in a toll booth in toroko anyway :popcorn:


Yes, it appears now that residents will get the standard rate, including ARC holding foreigners BUT when Steve and I began this all non-citizens were to be charged the higher rate and we argued that this was not right because ARC holding foreigners pay taxes. This shows the policy was ill-thought out at the beginning, but also that it can change.

As for a toll-booth in Taroko, there was an entrance fee when I first came to Taiwan. It's not good that the national parks are free.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 31 May 2012, 11:11

MM: The toll booth would have to be staffed. You couldn't expect people to have a permit that might get randomly checked, surely. That would basically mean it would never be checked or that the handful of people who did get checked would kick up such a fuss that it would have to be changed to everyone or no one getting checked.

I assume you're saying they shouldn't be free so as to discourage the lowest category of people who would turn up en masse and run amok. To be honest though, I don't think the parks being free or not would make any real difference there for two reasons. Firstly, I've seen plenty of wealthier people run amok. This is true generally in this country because many people don't have a sense of how to behave on the road, at various sites, etc. At the museum on Green Island recently, I saw a woman take her dog inside. The bloody clerk let her in too. It's inconceivable that someone would even consider doing that at Auschwitz or Arlington National Cemetary, for instance.

That might still cut the overall volume down though, I admit. The trouble is though, that secondly, they wouldn't get to that point because they'd never set the entrance fees high enough. I don't know what the threshold might be, but let's just say they found that threshold. I couldn't see them making it that high though as too many people would complain. Maybe they'd be able to just ram it through though and too bad for people. That might backfire though if people thought they were entitled to act like idiots because they'd forked out a considerable amount of money.

Any kind of quota system would seem to be very open to corruption, as is obviously the case with the government officials Omniloquacious knows who go to Yushan every year.

Isn't the bigger issue simply that too many people here treat their environments -- both urban and natural -- with contempt?
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Mucha Man » 01 Jun 2012, 00:38

Guy, I think the parks shouldn't be free because millions use them and they need a lot of money for upkeep and upgrading. Taroko officials for example are very annoyed that they have to budget for the extra expenses of Chinese tourists yet get nothing in return.

It's also a sad fact that far too many of the people who have the time to enjoy parks, retired civil servants, teachers, soldiers, and the landlords, are the very people who pay no taxes, so they are not contributing in any way but are simply taking.

As for how to implement the charge, given that the majority of people enter via tour buses it is not hard to add a fee onto that. I would use a system like the do at Denali National Park in Alaska. No booth, you simply drive yourself into the visitor center at the start at get a ticket. If you drive through without stopping you don't need to pay. If you are caught parked without a pass you pay a big fine.

For tour buses, they would park in the visitor center and their passengers would be required to take shuttle buses. I would prefer that all visitors take shuttle buses. It's an easy system to implement and allthe studies have been done. Taroko has been saying they will start it for years.

Enforcement is a huge problem in Taiwan and so is inertia.

Oddly, I think the presence of Chinese tourists is going to have a positive effect in the long run as so many tourist sites in China are now so much better run than Taiwanese.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby StevenCrook » 01 Jun 2012, 06:58

You wouldn't need a manned toll booth. It could be done with cameras and license-plate recognition technology, like the congestion charge in central London. Tell everyone, before they drive into the park, that they need to purchase a ticket beforehand, or within 24 hours - otherwise it's triple. Make payment very easy. Change one amount for tour buses, another for cars, a smaller amount for motorcycles. Taroko and Yushan are very suitable for this because so few roads enter the parks.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 01 Jun 2012, 07:50

MM: Those are good points, in which case, I'd agree with you.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby StevenCrook » 01 Jun 2012, 12:16

Muzha Man wrote:As for how to implement the charge, given that the majority of people enter via tour buses it is not hard to add a fee onto that. I would use a system like the do at Denali National Park in Alaska. No booth, you simply drive yourself into the visitor center at the start at get a ticket. If you drive through without stopping you don't need to pay. If you are caught parked without a pass you pay a big fine.

For tour buses, they would park in the visitor center and their passengers would be required to take shuttle buses. I would prefer that all visitors take shuttle buses. It's an easy system to implement and allthe studies have been done. Taroko has been saying they will start it for years.


Agree totally re shuttle buses (which should be hybrid/electric), disagree about drive-throughs paying nothing. With the exception of those living in a few particular mountain villages (who could be given exemptions), it doesn't make any sense to drive through Taroko or Yushan national parks unless you're wanting to look at the scenery. We don't want to encourage people to stay in their cars - it's much better long-term if they get out and hike a bit, and properly appreciate the park. Also, enforcement could be an issue: "I wasn't parking! My kid just had to pee!"
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Pingdong » 01 Jun 2012, 22:32

adding toroko to the highway system would be easy enough and the system is already changing this year....no need to tolls, just go alone with what they are doing.

when Steve and I began this all non-citizens were to be charged the higher rate and we argued that this was not right because ARC holding foreigners pay taxes. This shows the policy was ill-thought out at the beginning, but also that it can change.


nice job, kudos to you guys.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Mucha Man » 01 Jun 2012, 22:52

Pingdong wrote:adding toroko to the highway system would be easy enough and the system is already changing this year....no need to tolls, just go alone with what they are doing.


What changes?

Just like to add that Richard Saunders' campaign is doing well and the reply he got yesterday concluded that the authorities are actually considering how this new policy will make Taiwan look abroad. So they are starting to think of the policy in broader terms and not simply as a tiny revenue generator. The squeaky boot gets the mink oil.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby StevenCrook » 06 Jun 2012, 08:53

The editor of ACTION ASIA magazine, a Hong Kong-based English-language travel/scuba/hiking/triathlon publication, has just told me they will have a short piece on Yushan's pricing policy in their next issue. The magazine's website: http://www.actionasia.com/actionasia/index.jsp
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KEEPING UP WITH THE WAR GOD (2nd ed, Kindle only)
DOS AND DON'TS IN TAIWAN (Kindle edition)
TAIWAN FOR CULTURE VULTURES
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Pingdong » 07 Jun 2012, 04:57

What changes?


teh highways are removing toll booths and having that thing installed in all cars...surely you have seen it. with that kind of system they could easily, and efficiently, add any road they choose.
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